International students crackdown announced as part of Amber Rudd’s tougher immigration plans

Written by Tom Freeman on 4 October 2016 in News

International students may be restricted as part of new post-Brexit immigration rules, says Home Secretary Amber Rudd

Amber Rudd - credit Dan Kitwood/PA 

International students at UK Universities could be restricted under new tough immigration rules outlined by Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

In a speech about restricting immigration to Britain in the wake of the vote to leave the European Union to Conservative party conference in Birmingham, Rudd announced a consultation on reducing the number of students from overseas.

The government will “look for the first time at whether our student immigration rules should be tailored to the quality of the course and the quality of the educational institution,” she said.


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Students attending elite institutions could receive more favourable visa terms.

“A student immigration system that treats every student and university as equal only punishes those we should want to help,” she said.

“Our consultation will ask what more can we do to support our best universities - and those that stick to the rules - to attract the best talent while looking at tougher rules for students on lower quality courses.”

A £140m ‘Controlling Migration Fund’ will ease the pressures on communities and reduce illegal immigration, announced the Home Secretary.

“We have to look at all sources of immigration if we mean business,” she said.

“It’s only by reducing the numbers back down to sustainable levels that we can change the tide of public opinion, so once again immigration is something we can all welcome.”

SNP MSP and convener of Holyrood’s Education and Skills Committee James Dornan accused Rudd of “blindly following a UKIP agenda” on immigration.

“International students make a significant contribution to our universities financially and in research, as well as having a wider positive economic impact. They should be welcomed, not demonised,” he said.

“If the only answer the Tories have to the problems caused by Brexit is to close the door on migrants then we should be very worried.”

Earlier this year the UK Government announced a trial of giving post-study visas to students from a select group of universities. None were in Scotland. 

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